Bernie Wilson (pictured to the right of Teddy P), a baritone in the iconic soul group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, died Sunday of undisclosed medical complications at a hospital in Voorhees, New Jersey.
Wilson was a member of what's called the “classic” Blue Notes line-up, which also included Teddy Pendergrass, and that signed with Philadelphia International in 1972, beginning a four-year string of rhythm-and-blues classics that defined the Philadelphia sound.
The group made its 1972 chart debut with “I Miss You” and followed with its first No. 1 rhythm-and-blues hit⎯and first Grammy Award nomination ⎯“If You Don't Know Me By Now.” Other Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes hits from that time include “The Love I Lost,” “Wake Up Everybody,” “Bad Luck” and “Don't Leave Me This Way.”
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes were one of the most popular rhythm-and-blues groups of the 1970s but they never really recovered from Teddy Pendergrass' departure for a solo career in 1976. Although Melvin toured and recorded with several versions of the Blue Notes into the 1990s, the group never matched its mid-70s success. [Via CNN]